The Shooter in the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Was Found Guilty on All 63 Federal Charges He Faced

Robert Bowers, the shooter who massacred 11 people at Pittsburgh‘s Tree of Life synagogue in 2018, was found guilty on all 63 charges brought against him by a federal jury on Friday. Bowers, 50, was found guilty by the same jury of the bloodiest attack ever on Jewish people in the United States, and he now faces the prospect of the death sentence.

As the jury entered the courtroom, Bowers, dressed in a blue collared shirt and navy sweater, glanced at them before turning his focus to the papers on the defense table. Sister of Cecil and David Rosenthal, Diane Rosenthal, bent her head. As the body counts of her murdered brothers were read, she appeared to be looking away.

Each juror confidently responded “yes” when asked to confirm the verdicts. Some people responded very strongly. Over the course of two days, they spent around five hours deliberating.

In addition to other charges, Bowers was found guilty on eleven counts of first-degree murder for using a firearm in the commission of a violent felony and eleven counts of obstruction of free exercise of religion resulting in death.

Bowers was found guilty on 11 charges of murder related to hate crimes. The trial will now go to a separate penalty phase, during which the jury will consider more evidence in order to reach a verdict on whether or not to condemn him to death or life in prison without parole.On June 26th, sanctions will go into effect.

The Shooter in the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Was Found Guilty

‘Praying, Singing and Clapping’

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, one of the few people to survive the massacre, stated in a statement, “I am grateful to God for getting us to this day.” The U.S. Attorney who fought for my freedom to pray in court and the police officers who risked their lives to save me are also people I am grateful to.

To quote Myers: “On being with my congregation and praying, singing, and clapping in praise of God as we do each Shabbat.” “I can think of no better response in the face of the horror… our community has experienced than to practice my Jewish faith and lead worship,” he added.

The CEO of Tree of Life Synagogue said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” that the congregation “feels a sense of relief” after the shooting was stopped.

If the aforementioned topic piques your interest, the following is a selection of links of news published by the California Examiner:

Carole Zawatsky noted that people can start to take baby steps forward and heal. For Zawatsky, the past 4.5 years have been “a long time,” as he expressed to Blitzer. It is too early to say if the convictions will serve as a deterrence, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said CNN on Friday.

He did, however, find it heartening that the legal system functioned. Justice, albeit slow in coming, has been done, Greenblatt declared. Representative Dan Frankel of Pennsylvania hailed the survivors for their bravery and their testimony when the verdict was announced.

They shared their experiences and preserved the past. He then added, “Now all of us have to deal with that story.” Representative Frankel, whose district includes the Tree of Life Synagogue, spoke of the resilience he witnessed from the shooting’s survivors as they “recounted the worst days of their lives, the worst minutes of their lives.”

That’s worse than anything any of us have ever experienced.Gov The verdict was a step towards justice, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro said, but the pain of that day will never go away. When leaving the courthouse, Bowers’ legal representatives remained silent when approached by the media.

Bowers’ Own Lawyers Admitted He Killed the Worshippers

Six more people, including four police officers who responded to the scene, were injured in the mass shooting. The building’s eight occupants all made it out alive. Following almost an hour of deliberation on Friday morning, the jury asked the court for clarification on the meaning of “intention to kill” on Counts 40 through 47, which dealt with the six victims of the shooting.

Judge Robert Colville wrote back to the panel, explaining that he was unable to provide an answer and directing them back to his opening statement. The judge ruled that the notion of “intent to kill” does not call for any particular set of circumstances to be proven. He said, “It’s up to you to decide whether Bowers acted intentionally in light of the evidence.”

Jurors revealed their judgment shortly after returning to deliberations; Bowers’ attorneys had confessed all along that their client had attacked and killed the worshippers. Following closing arguments from both sides on Thursday, the jury deliberated for around five hours.

Bowers’ defense team didn’t try to deny he was responsible for the massacre in their closing arguments. His lawyer, Elisa Long, claimed he was motivated not by anti-Semitism but by antipathy toward immigrants and the charitable Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

If you’re curious, here are more California Examiner articles:

He has no desire or intention of giving up his religious studies, Long emphasized. On Thursday, prosecutor Eric Olshan responded to that claim. Olshan remarked, “These were not people who were helping refugees.” These were worshippers attempting to follow their beliefs.

Bowers entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill area on October 27 and opened fire, killing 11 people and wounding six more. The massacre occurred while three different Jewish congregations were holding their weekly Shabbat services at the synagogue that day: Tree of Life, Dor Hadash, and New Light.

The Shooter in the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Was Found Guilty (2)

Prosecutors spent nearly two months and sixty witnesses testifying that Bowers committed the massacre because of his antisemitism. They pointed to antisemitic comments he made before, during, and after the shooting, both online and in person.

Andrea Wedner, a 97-year-old witness, was able to survive being shot in the arm by pretending to be dead close to her dying mother. Her testimony was very sad as she recalled the last moments with her mother, Rose Mallinger.

When my fingers contacted hers, I kissed them. “I yelled, ‘Mommy,'” she explained. Experts in medicine, guns, and technology, as well as survivors of the attack and law enforcement officials involved in a gun battle with the gunman, testified as witnesses.

Prosecutor Mary Hahn said in her closing statements, “The defendant was caught at the synagogue with the murder weapon, so we know he is the shooter.” He blatantly confessed to SWAT he went to the synagogue to murder Jews.

The tweet below verifies the news:

‘There Can be No Forgiveness’

On Thursday, New Light Congregation released a statement saying Bowers was “indiscriminate in his task, shooting both worshippers and police officers.”

The congregation lamented that “survivors were forced to relive the trauma of the day” and that “family members suffered through testimony recalling the final minutes of their loved ones.” As the saying goes, “He came to kill Jews.”

There is no room for mercy. The statement from the congregation states, “Forgiveness requires two components: that it be offered by the person who commits the wrong and that it be accepted by the person who was wronged.” The killer hasn’t made an offer, and the victims are out of luck.

The following links were provided by the California Examiner for further reading:

According to evidence, Bowers brought three handguns and an AR-15 rifle before opening fire on worshippers inside the synagogue. Bowers was shot several times by police before he surrendered and was taken into custody. One of the deceased was a 97-year-old great-grandmother; another was an 87-year-old accountant; and a 62-year-old couple had been married at the synagogue.

Bowers had been an active member of the far-right extremist community on the small social media network Gab for years before the killing. He called refugees “invaders” and railed against the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a Maryland-based organization that was created a century ago in New York to aid refugees of all faiths and ethnicities.

If you want to keep up with criminal activities in California and the surrounding states, The California Examiner is the newspaper for you.

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